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Manage your weight when planning your pregnancy

Manage your weight when planning your pregnancy

Gaining weight before during and after pregnancy may not be a good idea for both mother and baby. Here is what you can do to be more fit.

"Dr. Arva Dhanaliwala, Consultant Obstetricians and Gynecologists at American Hospital Dubai"

Motherhood is a beautiful journey, an exciting moment as she is carrying another life. However, pregnancy can also be a time of confusion and apprehension. Although there are a million things to keep in mind to safeguard your health and that of the baby, one of the important element is that of maintaining your body weight before, during and after pregnancy.

Manage your weight

Women who start pregnancy with a high BMI (i.e. BMI >30) are at an increased risk of miscarriage, diabetes, high blood pressure, stillbirth, birth defects, blood clots in the leg veins and lungs and having a big baby. In labor, it also gets difficult to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. For overweight women, labor can be long, there may be a difficulty with epidural, difficulty in delivering the baby’s shoulders and there is an increased chance of having a cesarean section.

Excessive weight gain during pregnancy as well puts the woman at the same risks as mentioned before. Average weight gain in pregnancy for women with a healthy BMI (18.5- 24.9) is 11-15kg, overweight BMI (25- 29.9) is 7-11kg, obese BMI (>30) is 5- 9kg.

After delivery, it can be difficult to initiate and sustain breastfeeding. Mother’s weight in pregnancy also has an impact on the child. The child is at risk of having low blood sugar at birth. It increases the chance of having childhood obesity, premature metabolic syndrome and early death due to heart disease.

It is important to maintain an active lifestyle and lose the weight gained during pregnancy, after delivery. After delivery weight retention puts the woman at risk of developing type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and long term vascular dysfunction.

Diet and physical activity during pregnancy can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension and duration of labor without any adverse effects on the mother or baby.

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